Everybody loves a celebration. The only downside is the rubbish it generates – and more and more we’re coming to realise that that’s not just a problem for whoever has to clean the kitchen, it’s a problem for the environment.
So in the spirit of going low-waste at CNY, we asked a few champions of the movement for their thoughts: Rachel Pang is co-founder of long-standing eco site Go Green, Hannah Chung is the brains behind The Zero Waste Challenge and Peggy Chan is the founder of Grassroots Pantry and a big eco-advocate.
Food is a key for Rachel and Peggy. “Try a vegetarian New Year’s Eve dinner,” says Rachel. “Cutting down meat consumption is good for your health and the planet. Make your own drinks instead of buying bottled water or drinks, and buy organic vegetables from farmers’ markets like the Star Ferry market.”
Peggy agrees. “Skip the meat-heavy feasts and go vegan for a special CNY-inspired meal from the likes of Chi Lin Nunnery, Vegelink or Pure Veggie House,” she says. She also notes that preserving and reusing food is often forgotten. “You can dry up all the peels from mandarins eaten throughout the CNY season for teas, dessert soups or even potpourri. And instead of gifting boxed sweets, buy bulk foods and gift them in reusable glass jars.”
When it comes to gifting, Hannah says, we need to rethink it from the ground up. “Give digital lai see, [a number of P2P payment apps have] an option for gifting red packets. If you use the paper ones, you can save them from previous years to reuse or buy new ones without the zodiac sign. And if you want to give food, try local organic creations from Chopsticks Organic & Fair Trade Life. They come in metal tins that can be reused or even returned back to selected stores. You can also donate leftover food gifts to the People’s Food Bank.”
Pave the way for sustainable and mindful living this Chinese New Year by shopping our curated selection of home décor.